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JROTC holds 12th annual military ball


By Charlotte Hood, Section Editor

JROTC’s annual Military Ball, hosted at The Signature Grand Hotel on March 16, had a variety of amenities for its guests, including a buffet-style dinner, a guest speaker and a DJ.

“It was really beautiful,” junior Allie Tomaini said. “Everything was really nicely put together. Everyone just had a really nice time.”

Students began the night by greeting the receiving line, consisting of various members of the school staff and the Cadet Battalion Commander as well as the guest speaker, Chad Maxey, a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy and former Army infantry officer.

“We line up all of the cadets and their guests and they go through the receiving line,” Lt. Col. Gregory Johnson, JROTC senior instructor, said. “That’s when everyone introduces themselves.”

Upon entering the hall, guests were met with a royal-like introduction, which was appropriate as the crowing of the king and queen of the dance would take place later that night, as they walked along a red carpet under a display of swords.

“The best part of the night is always walking in,” Tomaini said. “They have the sabers up, and … you get your picture taken.”

Among the dancing and feasting, the night also had a more solemn presentation.

“We remembered the 17 that were taken way too early from Stoneman Douglas,” Johnson said. “We had a portion of the video that memorialized them. We also had a portion of it for … Cadet (Andrew) Coffey,” former cadet and school alumnus who died at a Florida State University fraternity house last fall.”

Organizers of the event say that this year’s event was the most successful one so far.

“I think this was the top one that we’ve ever had,” Johnson said. “It ran very smoothly.”

Posted: Apr. 23

Save your money! ‘Every Day’ a waste of time and resources



Courtesy of IMDb


By Alexis Schatten, Section Editor

“Every Day” was, from beginning to end, messy and unorganized. The movie, which was adapted from David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller of the same name, dove straight into its badly put together plot with little explanation of what was happening. Had I not read the book before seeing the movie, I would have been lost throughout the film.

The film revolves around a teenager named A (played by various talent throughout the film) who switches bodies every day. The movie begins with A waking up in the body of Justin (Justice Smith) and subsequently becoming enamored with Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon (Angourie Rice). The movie is the story of Rhiannon and A’s attempt at a relationship, despite A’s ever-changing body and location.

At least 20 poorly timed references to the book were shoehorned into the first 10 minutes of the film, and that’s about where the resemblance fades. While the book successfully unpacked this loaded plot, the movie failed miserably. Because there was no real reasoning for A’s changing presented in the film, the film played out awfully, coming across as a cheaply made montage of different scenes that didn’t fit well together and made no sense whatsoever, either separately or as a whole movie.

This montage came to a badly written crescendo about halfway through, with what seemed to be a conclusion, but was ultimately not. This crescendo, which consisted of every scene that had so far taken place flashing across the screen at a slightly faster speed while Rhiannon gave a completely monotone monologue that made no sense with or without context about how she’d fallen in love with A, was more tacky than helpful in the continuation of the plot.

Of course, the film’s playing out like it was made by a team of middle schoolers partly had to do with the acting displayed. The various cast members who played A often seemed to have little to no chemistry with Rice, who portrayed Rhiannon as a needy girlfriend whose only thoughts revolved around her boyfriend, and later, A.

The movie left me bored and wishing I’d walked out at the crescendo, as the ending was unsatisfying and quickly wrapped up as many loose ends as possible in as little time as possible. Overall, the film’s production was poorly executed and it was a waste of both time and resources.

Posted: Apr. 12

‘Love, Simon’ shows real teen struggles


By Alexis Schatten, Section Editor

“Love, Simon” officially hit theaters March 16, and it was the perfect blend of everything good about rom-coms and the struggles of LGBTQ+ teens in today’s society.

The movie revolves around senior Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) as he falls in love with an anonymous boy from his school over email, while dealing with the typical anxieties of a high school student.

As the movie progresses, Simon is forced into coming out to everyone in his life before he feels he’s ready, and while it’s something no one can be expected to be prepared for, he handles it fantastically, spinning it on its head and using it to his advantage to reach out to the anonymous boy and eventually meet him in person.

This movie is particularly spectacular because it’s an uncommon treasure to those who are able to see themselves in Simon. As of now, movies revolving around LGBTQ+ characters aren’t that common, and movies with a happy ending are even less so. To see a gay teenage character on the big screen is new and exciting, and to see him have a happy ending is something I won’t soon forget.

While the movie did get serious at times as Simon worked through his unfortunate situation, the seriousness never lasted for too long. Each serious scene was followed by a handful of hilarious ones in a way that balanced out the film and made it more enjoyable for its desired teen audience.

Overall, “Love, Simon” was a great adaptation of “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, the book on which it was based upon, and retold Albertalli’s story without disregarding it completely, like adaptations tend to do.

Posted: Apr. 11




Protesters walk for change


Students take to the streets on Feb. 21, walking out of their classes to protest school security and gun control issues. Protests occurred across the country after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which killed 17 students and staff members. Photo by Emily Powell


By Jamie Black, Section Editor

After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, students at this school, along with many other schools in South Florida, organized a walkout on Feb. 21, urging change and remembrance of the 17 who lost their lives on Feb. 14.

Nathaniel Tackett and Camila Duarte organized the walkout and were happy with the results.

“We didn’t expect that much of a turnout,” Duarte said. “I think a good percentage of the school walked out. We also didn’t expect for it to last that long.”

Tackett was pleased with the enthusiasm before and during the walkout.

“Everyone got really involved and passionate about it, and a lot of other people decided to take it upon themselves to make more walkouts and get passionate about it,” he said. “So that was really good.” Another group planned and executed a second walkout, traversing the 16 miles between this school and Stoneman Douglas on Feb. 27, getting over 75,000 “likes” and 20,000 re-tweets on Twitter.

The next day, junior Allie Tomaini organized a walkout after B Lunch, meeting up with Blanche Ely High School students at Pompano Beach City Hall.

Posted: Apr. 6

Musicians shine in UM Honor Band



University of Miami’s concert band plays on the final night of the festival on Feb. 3. The Frost Honor Band Festival lasted two days, Feb 2 and 3.


By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor

Winning the final game of the season in any sport is pretty important, but for the kids who press keys and read music instead of pass balls and memorize a playbook, the closest thing to a championship is the University of Miami Honor Band, is a annual band festival where around 260 kids are nominated by their band directors all over Florida and, after rehearsing in three separate groups for two days, perform together at a concert on the last day.

Nominated students don’t get in just by nomination; they also have to audition for several judges, and then those judges determine their placement in either of the three groups.

“For the audition, we had to play three prepared excerpts that we received beforehand,” sophomore bass clarinet player Sean Durham said. “The prepared excerpts weren’t that difficult and focused on a specific skill like tone quality, rhythmic accuracy, musical expression, for example.”

The three separate bands, the Honor Band Wind Ensemble, the Orange Concert Band and the Green Concert Band, each had a different conductor, not necessarily from the UM music programs. The musicians were assigned, after their auditions, to certain chairs based on their skill level.

“I met a lot of talented musicians from Palm Beach County as well as some from the Tampa area” junior saxophonist Malik McGowan said.

Over the course of the two days, the students didn’t just rehearse and perform; they each also had the opportunity to take a master class on their individual instruments run by UM staff. The conductors included retired conductors, current conductors, the Associate Dean of the UM Frost School of Music and the conductor from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Being a part of the University of Miami Honor Band was a great chance to enhance my musical career at the high school level,” Mcgowan said.

On the last night of the festival, UM’s band performed, followed by the three separate high school bands.

“The overall experience was fun and a great way to increase my musical knowledge and meet new people and make new friends from all over Florida,” Durham said.

Posted: Apr. 6

“Hairy Ape” challenges cast, crew


By Jordan Brown, Asst Section Editor

The drama department, led by Mr. Henderson, put on their production of “The Hairy Ape” from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26. The play, written by Nobel Prize winning author Eugene O’Neill and first produced in 1922, revolves around the themes of social recession and racial issues, concepts that are more complex than majority of its previous productions.

“The story itself revolved around my character, Yank, very closely, which meant I had to work extensively on character development and line memorization,” senior Amorie Barton said.

The entire department worked together for months to put on this production, Henderson dividing the students in the class into separate committees assigned to different tasks.

“We like to try and run the drama class like an actual play company in which different committees of students are in charge of different areas of the production,” Barton said.

Like all drama related productions, planning and rehearsals have been extensive..

“We started preparing for this play in the beginning of the school year, and as opening night approached we started to have rehearsals practically every day after school as well as on Fridays,” Barton said.

Last year’s production, “Harvey”, was a bit less work in areas like line memorization and complexity compared to “Hairy Ape” but fulfilling nonetheless.

“‘Harvey’ was a lighthearted comedy of errors while ‘The Hairy Ape’ is more of a serious expressionist piece with a deep philosophical meaning,” Barton said. “Both are great shows and I think it shows off the versatility of our drama department.”

Since the play had to be adapted for a high school stage and theater company, there were clashes on things like how the play was to be interpreted and who was doing what.

“There have been a few clashes on the fact that people from other committees would try to do jobs on another committee instead of their own.” junior Madison Tappa said.

Despite the complexity, the payoff was worth it for the department at the end of the three-day run.

“Knowing that we were all able to overcome any difficulties to put on a show that we can be proud of is incredibly rewarding.” Barton said.

Posted: Apr. 6

Sineus seeks racial awareness, unity

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Senior Debbie Sineus sits in her dual enrollment English class. Sineus founded the school’s African American Club this year “to promote social awareness and student unity.”

By Kristina Latchana, Assistant web and business editor

For senior Debbie Sineus, ranking in the top 20 percent and taking several AP and dual enrollment classes was not enough. She noticed that there were many clubs supporting marginalized groups and felt one important group was missing.

So founded the African American Club and became its first president.

“Due to past incidents in this school, it served as a catalyst for me to promote social awareness and student unity,” Sineus said.

Sineus said that, as the child of Haitian immigrants, she has always felt like she was not good enough and was often made fun. In spite of this, Sineus remained resilient and works hard inside and outside of school to better herself and her community.

Sineus is involved in several clubs, including SGA, NHS, the Ignition Hip Hop Dance Team and cheerleading. Sineus co-headed the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF with senior Marlen Spence, and they raised around $800.

Outside of school, Sineus is part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and will be a debutante at the Kappa Kappa Omega Chapter 37th annual Tea Rose Cotillion.

Posted: Apr. 6

¡Bienvenido a España!

Travelers head to Spain

By Julia Latchana, Asst. Color Section Editor

Twenty-three Travelling Tornadoes will be visiting France and Spain from March 21 to 31 to immerse themselves in a new culture.

“I am excited to go to Europe for the first time and see what life there is like,” junior Megan Tirrell said.

These students will be visiting Paris, France; Montpellier, France; Roses, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Madrid, Spain; Cordoba, Spain; and Seville, Spain.

“I’m really excited. I have never been to Europe before, so this is going to be such an amazing and unique experience,” senior Kristiana Kassis said.

The trip cost about $3,000, which covers all expenses aside from money needed for food and souvenirs.

In order to meet the cost, students have been participating in fundraisers, including  car washes, Poinsettia sales, PDQ and Chipotle nights, Krispy Kreme Donut sales, and the Multicultural Show and Silent Auction.

To prepare for the trip, Assistant Principal Jill Samaroo had the students bring their luggage, fill it with 10 to 11 textbooks (about 50 pounds), and then told them that they were in Spain and had 10 minutes to catch a train.

“She made us take the bags up the central stairwell to the third floor, down the east stairwell, out around the back of the school to the basketball courts, and back along the east side of the teacher lot so we finished back at the front office,” junior Zachary Tirrell said. “It was a nice way to burn some calories.”

Posted: Mar. 5th

Hype surrounding ‘Black Panther’ is immense

By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor

“Black Panther” comes out Feb. 16 in theaters, and everyone’s holding their breath for the first Marvel movie where a black man in authority will be the main character.

“Black Panther” was directed by Ryan Coogler, known for directing movies like Creed and Fruitvale Station, and is the sixth movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s third phase (the 18th overall).

“Black Panther” will tell the story of T’Challa, whose plan to return home and ascend to the throne is sidetracked by the return of a powerful adversary.

The hype for this movie began all the way back in 2014 when Marvel announced its plan to make a solo movie for the universe’s first-ever black superhero. From that announcement to the appearance of some of the cast at San Diego Comic-Con 2016, this movie went through several directors before landing on Coogler. Marvel also changed the release day of Black Panther three different times before landing on Feb. 16.

At SDCC 2016, Marvel Studios announced the other actors that would star alongside Chadwick Boseman: Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira.

The premiere of “Captain America: Civil War” in May 2016 gave the public its first look of T’Challa, aka Black Panther, in action and with his own plot and storyline. He was not, however, front and center like he will be in this movie.

That’s all the general public got until Game 4 of the 2017 NBA Finals: when Marvel released the very first official (teaser) trailer and poster. The trailer was viewed 89 million times in just 24 hours and reached the top of the trending board on Twitter that night and was talked about more than the game itself. (The Warriors must have been watching too: That was the only game they lost.)

Excitement stirred again at SDCC 2017 when the entire cast participated in a panel in the biggest and most talked about room in the film and television industry: Hall H. In addition to answering questions from the audience, they debuted a clip that had never been shown to anyone prior to that panel, not even the cast. The clip was met with a standing ovation from the audience and an extremely proud reaction from the cast.

The first full trailer was released late last year, on Oct. 16, and was met with many positive reviews from various websites and publications. Dave Trumbore from Collider, an entertainment website, called the trailer “ a killer trailer (that) not only shows off a ton of action sequences, outrageous costume design, and comic book goodies for fans out there, it also brings an unmistakable sense of style that’s all Black Panther‘s own.”

Rolling Stone contributor Tre Johnson wrote, “After decades of trying to nail the modern black superhero, we may finally be getting what we’ve asked for – and getting it right.”

Ever since then, Marvel has been slowly releasing images, clips and other trailers to satiate the public’s need for more Black Panther-related content. In December 2017, Fandango released a survey that said that Black Panther is the second most anticipated movie of 2018, coming behind “Infinity War.” That survey also predicted that the movie will earn in between $80 million and $90 million with potential to pass $100 million during its opening weekend, and then grossing in between $275 million and $335 million as its domestic total.

Black Panther will be as important to African-American moviegoers as Wonder Woman was important to female moviegoers, maybe even more. This is the first movie that will completely highlight the first ever black superhero, and I can’t wait.

Posted: Feb. 7

‘Listen’ shows how important it is to hear what teenagers are saying

By Alexis Schatten, Asst. Section Editor

Students were given the opportunity to watch “Listen” and discuss the movie with director Erahm Christopher on Jan. 17, and it might just be one of the most hard-hitting films of this decade.The movie revolves around several students, who each have their own struggles inside and outside of a school setting. None of these students felt that they had people they could speak to about their problems, leading to a variety of bad outcomes.

A teen drama with an underlying message that everyone should be kinder to each other because they don’t know what others are going through is nothing new, but Christopher took it to the next level by creating a group of characters that are based on people he’s met, instead of compiling a list of high school stereotypes that each have their own problems buried deep down, like many of today’s teen-targeted films and shows.

The movie, which was far from lighthearted and was presented with a forewarning that students would be able to leave at any time if they found the movie to be too intense, tackled many common issues, like body image and pressure from parents, that most films and TV shows would never dare to go into.

This disregard for the idea that these normally taboo topics should be kept far from the big screen made the movie that much more real for me and many other students who found that they could relate to at least one, if not more, of the characters that Christopher brought to life.

However, several teachers felt that it wasn’t the best film to play to a room full of teenagers.

“I think it might’ve been a good idea, the point that they were trying to get across, but I don’t think it came across in the best way,” math teacher Mrs. Picchiarini said. “I thought it was over the top; I thought it was every stereotype exaggerated to the nth degree.”

While exaggeration of emotions is typical of a teen drama, the movie does tend to dramatize the real events that Christopher’s friends have gone through. This makes the movie less realistic, but makes sure that the message is received clearly.

The heavy topics this movie brought up was the reason it has been played at high schools throughout the district, as explained by peer counseling teacher Mrs. Dooling, who wanted to show this movie for this reason specifically.

“They dealt with topics that teenagers are going through today,” Dooling said.

Despite the hesitance displayed by some teachers, the showing of this movie was a positive step toward showing students that they always have someone they can talk to at our school and just what many students needed in today’s society.

Posted: Feb. 5

Club holds auditions for chance at multicultural spotlight

By Jessica Buchanan, Managing Editor

On Feb. 5 the International Traveling Tornadoes will be holding auditions for the Multicultural Show to be held on March 1.

“Our goal is to show our audience live pieces of the world’s cultures in music and dance as well as showcase Pompano’s talent and diversity,” said junior Megan Tirrell, co-head of the Multicultural Show.

The ticket sales and silent auction held prior to the show are an “attempt to raise money for our trip to Spain and France over spring break,” Tirrell said.

Anyone interested in auditioning should be in the auditorium at 3:30 pm on Monday, Feb 5.

Posted: Feb. 1

Jumanji remake actually lives up to the original

By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor

“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” debuted in theaters last month and it, surprisingly, lives up to the original 1995 classic.

Directed by Jake Kasdan, this is the second film of the series and puts a vintage twist on the way the main characters, kids in high school, get sucked into the game by appearing to the kids as an old video game console.

The cast perfectly balances huge celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas and Jack Black.

Karen Gillian, known for her role as Amy Pond in the sci-fi series Doctor Who and Gamora’s sister Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy, somehow makes the awkward and at times crass personality of the school genius fit almost seamlessly with the physically attractive appearances of her character, Ruby Roundhouse.

Jumanji being his third serious film role, Jonas surprisingly keeps up with film veterans like Johnson, Black and Gillian. His character had been stuck in the game for close to 20 years until the other teenagers came along and inducted him into their group to get out of the game.

The younger cast members, like Alex Wolff and Madison Iseman, also deserve some recognition even though they were only in the film to provide exposition and tie the film in a nice bow.

Unlike the first film of the series, “Welcome to the Jungle” caters more to the teenage audience by including things like classic high school stereotypes, video games and humorous moments.

The first Jumanji is one of my favorite films, and, in my opinion, Robin Williams could never be replaced. Instead of disrespecting the first film, “Welcome to the Jungle” pays homage to the 1995 classic in ways on and off the screen. If you look close enough, Williams’ character’s name is carved into a tree that Jonas stands next to in one of the scenes.

The caliber of acting from the big-billed stars like Johnson and Black gives the film a humorous element while still maintaining the seriousness and gravity of the situation they’ve gotten themselves into: something that only a handful of movies have pulled off perfectly.

Johnson portrays the video game version of one of the main characters so well that you kind of miss him when they complete the game. He keeps the weak, nerdy pushover personality of his teenage counterpart in his hulking frame, which makes for a lot of laughs throughout the entire movie. Eventually, he comes to embrace his new physical body and even prefers it to his real body (which makes for a bit of a problem). Being forced into the role of the leader of the group, Johnson doesn’t completely lose his teenage personality while trekking through the dangerous Jumanji.

Jack Black makes an explosive reappearance on the big screen after being gone for almost a year. He makes for the funniest character in the movie, his teenage counterpart being the queen bee whose biggest worries is chipping a nail. It takes a bit for her to become accustomed to being trapped in Jack Black’s body. but the movie gets even better when she finally does.

“Welcome to the Jungle” makes bold new strokes with everything it does, like dialogue and societal norms, while staying close to the foundations of the 1995 movie.

Posted: Jan. 30

Band puts down instruments, picks up ball

By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor

New band teacher Gianni Bolanos desperately needed to build cooperation and a sense of family, especially with a significant influx of freshmen.
So Bolanos came up with an idea: a soccer game to build trust between the students and learn to depend on the weakest link. Making sure to integrate members from percussion, winds and guard, Bolanos divided the band into two teams.

“I worked pretty well with my team, considering I was the only girl on the team,” junior Kelly Zhang said.

The goal of the game was to see which team could score the most goals, forcing the members to work together with people they might not usually associate with.

“It was fun, we got a chance to become closer as a group and my team won, so it made it all good,” sophomore Michael Raszka said.

Losing team members also found the experience positive.

“After the fourth loss on our team, we still pushed on even if we were doomed to lose. The game was fun though, we all got a little bit closer as friends,” freshman Isabella Silva said.

Despite the reservations the members initially had, it turned out to be a successful team-building exercise and a nice breather from the rigor that is preparing for competitions and shows.

“We plan to do another team building exercise,” said junior Malik McGowan.

Posted: Nov. 29

¡Buen viaje! Travelers plan for Spain

By Julia Latchana, Assistant Editor

The destination for the Traveling Tornadoes annual international Spring Break trip has been announced: Spain.

“I have been traveling with this group since I was a freshman,” Vanessa Saintilus said. “It is now senior year; I wouldn’t miss this trip. I enjoy seeing new places, interacting with different people, learning about new cultures and making new friends.”

The school has built a partnership with a school in France, which borders Spain, and also hosted a Spanish exchange teacher, Mr. Garcia, several years ago.

“We look to see what places we have not visited that we have partners with,” assistant principal Jill Samaroo said.

Specific activities will be planned with input from the students.

“We are still working on the itinerary with collaboration with former teacher Mr. Garcia who lives in Spain and our sister school in France,” Samaroo said. “We will be visiting a school in France and possibly a school in Spain. We will be touring the cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Seville, along with others along the way.”

The trip will cost about $3,000, which includes all expenses except not money for their lunches and souvenirs. A $300 deposit was due by Oct. 31.

“Going on trips like this makes me more aware of what’s going on in the world,” Saintilus said.

Posted: Nov. 28

Clubs working hard to obtain new students

By Sierra Van Dreason, Staff Intern

Students don’t just go to school, attend their classes and go home. Over 50 different types of clubs are available. Club members have been trying to boost enrollment by putting up signs, posting club meeting dates on Canvas and informing freshman about important details concerning their clubs at Freshman Invasion.

“We don’t try to recruit people by begging them to join,” said sophomore Student Government Association club member Clara Chelly. “We work as a family to show people that SGA is actually a great club and people should join, so they get convinced to join by that.”

Every year, students create new clubs by suggesting a type of club that they would like to start to Ms. Pliske or the ICC president Alexis Roberson.  

“I made Photography Club when I was a freshman because I am passionate about photography and the school didn’t have a club like it already,” said Lee Silva-Walker, junior and club president.

Many students are motivated to take a specific career path because of participating in a certain club.

“I want to become a pediatric nurse and HOSA exposes us to experiences in our potential future medical careers,” junior Francesca Reyes said. Reyes is treasurer of Health Occupations Students of America. “The goal of HOSA members is to be exposed to the medical field career and prepare us for our competition, which is where we have to perform a medical task in front of judges and test our knowledge about medicine.”

The clubs include a variety of different grade levels that participate.

“Our club is mostly made up of juniors, but a lot of new members join when they are sophomores,” Reyes said.   

Certain clubs had volunteers to try to recruit new students at Freshman Invasion.

“We asked every student who walked by…are you interested in becoming a doctor in the future?” Reyes said.

Photography Club made flyers about their club and distributed them at Freshman Invasion.

“We always go to Freshman Invasion to get more new students to join and we pass out flyers that explain more details about our club,” Silva-Walker said.

Many clubs give students a chance to learn important skills and do something beneficial while having fun.

“My club is not really just a club. It’s also the whole schools ‘government’ and we help plan out events for the school like homecoming and pep rallies and we have a lot of fun doing activities, we decorate a lot and we have our own little communities to do this and that. Also, we learn about leadership and SGA makes us more outgoing and social,” Chelly said.

Not only are clubs educational and fun, they are a great opportunity to get colleges to notice you.

“I would definitely recommend H.O.S.A because it not only is good exposure to the medical field, but it also looks so good on your resume and it is nationally recognized,” Reyes said.

Posted: Nov. 16

Environmental Club plans to get water refilling stations

By Kristina Latchana, Asst. Section editor

Environmental Club, also known as the Green Tornadoes, is purchasing a refillable water station and accepting donations to help pay for another so that one will be on the first floor and one on the third.

The club hopes the refillable water bottle stations will encourage students to use refillable water bottles instead of disposable plastic bottles that contribute to pollution and harm the environment.

According to club president Gracie Lorber, those interested in donating should see Ms. Dupre, the adviser.

Posted: October 24

Golden Roast Set to Brew 

By Kristina Latchana, Asst. Section editor


Manager James Grandez setting up the Golden Roast


Grandez serving coffee to Johnathan Lash, junior

Seniors James Grandez and Nicole Sloss will be managing the Tornado Alley Golden Roast coffee stand, opening Oct. 30, and they’re looking for applicants.

“It will be a good source of revenue for the school and it will add to the business side of our magnet program,” Grandez said.

Once the Golden Roast is up and running it will be open 15 minutes after the start of blocks 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 8, and close 15 minutes before the end of each period. Students will need a coffee run pass from their teacher in order to make a purchase at the Golden Roast.

Currently, the menu consists of an 8 oz. coffee for $2 and an 8 oz. latte for $3, but as the year goes on there will be adjustments made. They hope to add seasonal, featured flavors like peppermint mocha.

Activities director Ms. Pliske said the Golden Roast is seeking “high energy, charismatic, trustworthy juniors and seniors” since initially, the funds raised will go to those classes.

Posted: October 19

The Good Doctor is actually great

By Jordan Brown, Asst. Section Editor

ABC’s The Good Doctor aired on Sept. 25, the pilot starting off with Freddie Highmore making his way from his quiet life in the country to the hustle and bustle of California to work at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital.

The show focuses on Dr. Shaun Murphy (played by Freddie Highmore) who was diagnosed with autism and savant syndrome in his childhood. His diagnosis makes it hard for people to take him seriously as a surgeon and to get a position at the hospital.

The show has many actors of color portraying high-ranking surgeons at the hospital. Dr. Melendez, played by Nicholas Gonzalez, plays the typical sexist and arrogant attending surgeon, but there’s a twist: He actually admits when he’s wrong unlike similar characters in across different forms of media. Dr. Browne, played by Antonia Thomas, is a woman of color that fights against Melendez to be taken seriously and to have her rightful place on his team of surgeons.

Just in the first episode, the show is already tackling heavy topics like child abuse, discrimination in the workplace and just plain ignorance. Murphy’s troubled childhood is told mainly through flashbacks triggered by certain events happening around him, such as a soccer ball rolling up to his feet.

As for discrimination in the workplace, Murphy’s mentor, Dr. Glassman, fights against the board of directors and their discriminatory and ignorant views on how having autism interferes with Murphy’s ability to save lives. Watching these characters deal with their respective problems draws you in and evokes emotion, whether that feeling is hatred and annoyance or sympathy and pride.

The center of the show revolves around how Murphy tries to earn his place at the hospital, be respected by his peers and balance work and his health all at the same time. So far, he seems to have various coping mechanisms to keep his autism in check.

The caliber of acting in this show is impeccable, especially Highmore. Highmore seems to understand how to properly portray and represent a disabled actor without offending people in that community. After watching the first episode, I think that this show could go for multiple seasons without any problems and I highly recommend this show to anyone who enjoys drama and being drawn in.

Posted: October 10

Just wing it: Improv Club prepares for changes

By Jordan Brown, Assistant Section Editor

With school back in full swing, the Improv club has already made some drastic changes compared to last year.

The club, run by senior Denzel Tennant, is comprised of returning members from earlier years and a handful of freshmen.

Members who attend club meetings for at least 36 hours will receive a cord during a graduation (a change from previous years).

Despite Improv being a small club, with less than 15 members, it plans to make a big impact this school year.

Posted: October 9

Fashion trend should have no place at school

By Alexis Schatten and Charlotte Hood, Asst. Section Editors


Two students sit in shame as they are caught wearing their distracting apparel. The students were not punished, but were judged severely by their peers.


An anonymous student sparks controversy as she models her sock and sandal combination. As she passed by administrators, not a single one stopped her for her outfit.

Throughout the history of public schools, the dress code policy has gone through a variety of revisions. Because of this, students are now able to wear jeans and open-toed shoes, but nearly all can agree that there are some articles of clothing that should never be worn near a school, much less be strutted through the halls day in and day out.

Our current dress code forbids students from wearing shirts that reveal the shoulders, but it does not forbid a recent fashion statement that has shaken the entirety of the school to its core.

“It just doesn’t make sense. They look so much worse than shoulderless shirts,” sophomore Kristina Gosselin said.

The dress code was originally put into place to prevent distractions among the student body, and this issue is causing a bigger ruckus than exposed shoulders could ever have managed. While shoulders can be easily covered, this worrisome wardrobe is nearly impossible to hide. Girls, in particular, have become more distracted by this look than boys ever were by shoulders. They can’t even bear to look down for fear of seeing such atrocious attire.

“Looking down at people’s feet makes me want to gag. It’s disgusting,” freshman Hadassah Mattos said.

This trend may even have played a part in the recent congestion in the hallways between classes, since students can’t even look at their classmates without fear of seeing this garish garment, leading them to flock together with their fashionably-responsible friends. It has become a challenge for students to move from class to class without running into someone who thinks that they are “rocking” this evil ensemble.

“I just don’t get it. It defeats the point of sandals,” sophomore Elle Moller said.

Not only does it prevent students from focusing on their academic pursuits, but the unsavory new trend has spread to the youngest members of the PBHS family: the freshmen. These naive, impressionable souls see seniors wearing these controversial outfits and immediately flock to stores to recreate that look, hoping to be considered “cool” by their peers.

“If they (the freshmen) see a senior or upperclassman wearing socks and sandals, they might think it’s fashionable, but it’s really not,” junior Mikaela Whitmer said.

To stop the further spread of this fashion disaster that threatens students, the school must destroy it at its source, yet administrators remain silent on this event. Students are outraged that they have done nothing to prevent the fashion felony.

“It’s a major oversight on the administration’s part,” junior Cole Booth said. “These people should be immediately suspended or, better yet, expelled.”

No matter what their age, grade, gender, or fashion style, everyone can agree that socks-and-sandals are revolting and have no place in this school.

Posted Oct. 2

Bold entertainment: ‘Bold Type’ deserves 2nd season

By Jamie Black, Section Editor

The Bold Type officially premiered July 11 on Freeform, opening with three strong women arriving to their workplace, Scarlett magazine, the show’s take on Cosmopolitan magazine.

The show follows Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy), Jane Sloane (Katie Stevens) and Kat Edison (Aisha Dee), who are led by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jacqueline Carlyle played by Melora Hardin.

The show features several characters that are members of the LGBTQ community and people of color. Carlyle fights the trope of being a rude, high-strung female boss and instead is compassionate toward her employees and supports them in all their endeavors, whether they succeed or not.

Edison, the main character, is a woman of color who starts to question her sexuality after meeting Adena El Amin (Nikohl Boosheri), an openly lesbian Muslim.

Besides intricate characters, the show explores the connection between sexuality and identity, positive and healthy intimate adult relationships, jobs and money issues, Islamophobia, intersectional feminism, rape and misogyny.

The show tackles these heavy topics with a grace that is both hilarious and tear-jerking simultaneously. The forward-thinking of this show is a breath of fresh air in the tumultuous environment we are in.

Various themes aside, the most important thing about the show is Kat, Jane, and Sutton’s friendship. Their friendship is unconditionally supporting, no matter what arguments they get themselves into. The friendship they have is an ideal example for any relationship.

After watching the whole season of The Bold Type and experiencing the beauty that the show is, whether it be the representation of all groups of people or themes that are relatable, I highly recommend this show to everyone and seriously hopes it gets a second season.

Posted: Sept. 26

More should have been done with ‘Dunkirk’

By Alexandra Griffin, Editor-in-Chief

Dubbed the movie of the summer by many movie critics, “Dunkirk” did not live up to the hype.

“Dunkirk,” produced and directed by Christopher Nolan, is a true story about the retreat of British, French, Belgian and Dutch armed forces after being trapped by the Germans on the beaches of Dunkirk, France, in the early summer of 1940.

The film tells three separate stories that eventually converge: Alex and Tommy, English foot soldiers; Collins and Farrier, fighter pilots; and a father, son and friend George who set out on their small boat to aid in the evacuation efforts.

While the cast for this movie was almost unreal on paper, many of the characters I felt were not portrayed as well as they could have been. As a Harry Styles fan, I dread saying this: There was something left to be desired in Styles’ portrayal of the English foot soldier, Alex. Alex was by far the most talkative foot soldier portrayed, but Styles did not reflect the emotion of the character effectively.

With that said, Kenneth Branagh did an exceptional job portraying the captain that led the evacuation from Dunkirk.

Movies portraying wars often give you the feeling that you are immersed in the war while Dunkirk left you feeling as if you were watching from the sidelines.

Much of the movie was lacking emotion other than the terror that the trapped soldiers were facing. The actors needed to portray sadness when people that they cared for died or frustration when their way off the beach was destroyed, even if not by words, which were rarely used in the movie, but by expression. The only sense of other emotion from terror that the movie hinted at was through the score.

Hans Zimmer is a genius and developed an unbelievable score for the movie set around the theme of time through a constant ticking in the background or foreground of the score. The score was not distracting to the movie but added the right amount of suspense, momentum and relief. If the rest of the movie was on par with the score, I would rate it a perfect five stars.

Posted: Sept. 26

‘Spider-man: Homecoming’ keeps it fun, light

By Alexandra Griffin, Editor-in-Chief

Released on July 7, “Spider-man: Homecoming” was an outrageous success. The movie has made over $700 million which ensured the spot of Spider-man in future Marvel Superhero movies.

The movie was the perfect mix of humor and action keeping the story light and interesting. It began with Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, leaving the rest of the Avengers after the civil war was over as seen in “Captain America: Civil War.”

Parker, a freshman at his Midtown School of Science and Technology in his native New York City, tries to assimilate into the crowd, while working to save his neighborhood as Spider-man at night.

Parker soon becomes bored with handling petty crime around the neighborhood and seeks something more exciting, despite the discouragement of doing so by his mentor Tony Stark. He stumbles on a private operation creating advanced weapons with alien technology and takes it upon himself to halt the operation.

While Parker is dealing with his duties as Spider-man, he also has to deal with his school’s academic decathlon team, which depends on him for its success at a national competition, and a crush on one of his classmates and teammates, Liz.

Director Jon Watts has managed to make “Spider-man: Homecoming” a relatable, funny and entertaining movie that makes you feel good when you watch it. It takes a somewhat juvenile tone that does not take away from the plot, but adds to it since it is about a fifteen-year-old boy.

“Spider-man: Homecoming” is everything it should be and more.

Posted: Sept. 26


Graphic by: Sabrina Conza and Nicolas Gallardo

Posted: May 4

One competition, three languages


Awarded juniors Esmeralda Cedillos and Katerina Argianas discuss why they decided to participate in the 2017 World Languages Academic Competition at the awards ceremony on March 30. “I like to talk in public so this competition was really fun to do for me,” Cedillos said. Argianas added,”Spanish is a fun and exciting language and I was really happy to be able to participate in the competition.” Language students were able to display their skills through the 2017 World Language Academic Competition where they spoke their language and recited pieces or performed popular culture songs.


Ms. Hill, along with National Spanish Honor Society (NSHS) members seniors Wady Valeriano and Anaeli Garay present their awarded scrapbook from the World Language Academic Competition on March 30. NSHS used its scrapbook as a way to broadcast the message of cultural unity with the title “Héroes sin Barreras” (Heroes without barriers).


Principal Thomas explains the importance of being multilingual at the 2017 World Language Competition awards ceremony on March 30. Principal Thomas encouraged students to partake in events like the World Language Competition because it promotes multilingualism within the student body.


Chinese teacher Ms. Zheng presents senior Kayla Walker with an award for her participation in the 2017 World Language Academic Competition on March 30. “It provides our students with a platform to demonstrate their learning achievements,” Ms. Zheng said. “It’s an annual event that we take very seriously.”

Posted: April 25


4 Reasons why you should watch ‘13 Reasons Why’

By Alexandra Griffin, Managing Editor

Netflix released the series “13 Reasons Why” based on the book of the same title by Jay Asher on March 31. Since its release, it has been a main conversation point for many teens as it touches on many topics like suicide, sexual assault, drunk driving and bullying; issues that people tend to not like to talk about.

The series opens with the main character, Clay Jensen, mourning the death of his friend Hannah Baker, who had committed suicide a week earlier. Hannah leaves behind tapes about 13 different people who influenced her decision to end her life. The series is then told through a combination of Hannah’s perspective through narration on the tapes while Clay listens to them and Clay’s perspective and reaction to the tapes.

The series portrays the theme that you cannot know what is happening in anyone’s life but your own. It makes that theme impactful by relating it to things that happen regularly in high school and by offering many different situations that the audience can relate to, making the series feel very real.

The producers also did an excellent job of portraying the story from  Clay’s point of view. You feel his emotions, and it was relatively easy to keep track of what happened in the past through his flashbacks and what was presently happening.

Another one of my favorite features of the series was its soundtrack; I think it perfectly portrayed the tone of the series, as it was in certain ways a love story, so the songs were romantic yet somber and tended to be more Indie style tracks, as Clay said he preferred.

I think that despite the well-thought-out plot and impactful theme, the series was not without flaws. Many of the events that were not as important to the plotline were not portrayed as how they actually would have happened in a high school.

Also, in many places the lines were extremely corny and unrealistic, for example when Alex, Jessica and Hannah all grab hands and say “FML forever” every day at Monet’s. Clay’s hallucinations were not necessary to the plot and ended up being slightly confusing. Additionally, the title sequence was a little misleading, as the background music is kind of upbeat and the drawings portray few main plot developments.
Overall, I highly recommend “13 Reasons Why.” I think it is not only entertaining, but also brings awareness to many topics that many high school age students are afraid to talk about and helps to understand why it is so important to always be respectful and not judgemental.

Posted: April 25

Seniors value college rankings


Senior Diego Guedez looks at U.S. News and World Report’s overview of the University of Florida (UF). UF decision is released on Feb. 10.

By Sabrina Conza, Editor in Chief

As seniors apply to colleges and decide where they will be attending, they take into consideration many factors including the cost of attendance and even the ranking of the university on websites such as U.S. News and World Report.

Some seniors like Eri Vishka used the rankings when deciding what schools to apply to.

“Although rank is just a number and shouldn’t be the sole reason for choosing a school, I use rankings to limit my college choices to the top 100 schools since I feel that my academic performance is deserving of a more prestigious college,” Vishka said.

The limit of the top 100 schools led Vishka to apply to Duke University, Northeastern University, University of Miami (UM), University of Florida (UF), University of South Florida (USF), Florida State University (FSU), University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida Atlantic University (FAU) with Duke University being his top choice.

Christina Camastra’s consideration of the college rankings helped narrow her choices down to just four: UF, FSU, UCF and USF.

“The college rankings have everything to do with where I applied to school,” Camastra said. “The rankings are one of the most important things that I looked for during my college search. If I am going to spend a ton of money on my education, why would I go to a poorly ranked school that doesn’t take education as seriously as a higher reward college?”

Other seniors believe that there are more important factors in determining where to attend.

“I’m looking more for opportunity outside of college,” Diego Guedez said, choosing UF, UCF, USF and FSU. “(I’m looking at) how extensive their alumni are, where they work, what companies are affiliated with the colleges, who is being hired, how many people are being hired, and just how many resources they have allocated to the major that I want to study.”

Sierra Molina understands why rankings matter to some people, but they aren’t excessively important in her college choice.

“When applying to colleges, I understand that many students dream to attend prestigious schools for the sole purpose of attaining status and being associated with such a selective and well known name,” Molina said. “I believe that a college’s rank is not a definitive representation of its success; therefore, I, myself, would rather take time to find a school that fits my style of learning and area of interest, looking beyond their rank and status.”

BRACE advisor Ms. McFadden has some insight into how these rankings were determined.

“Colleges and universities are ranked based on up to 15 key measures of quality,” Ms. McFadden said. “The U.S. News uses these measures to capture the various dimensions of academic quality at each college.These measures reflect the quality of students, faculty and other resources used in education, which show the results of the education an individual receives on a whole.”

Ms. McFadden also believes that these rankings can be helpful due to their accuracy.

“Depending on where you plan to go to further a degree I would say yes, college rankings do matter,” Ms. McFadden said. “College rankings are accurate and relevant as they are developed by the U.S. News & World Report.”

As someone who does not consider college rankings to be excessively important, Molina has some advice for those looking at the rankings now and in the future:

“I think that the placement of colleges and universities allows them to gain recognition globally, but as far as deciding where to apply and getting in, I honestly would follow your heart and professional path even if it leads you to a school that is perceived as lower in national placement,” she said.

Posted Feb. 8

Faculty Show funds student scholarships

By Milan McKie, Opinion Editor

Faculty members and administration performed in the fifth annual Faculty Show on Jan. 20 in the auditorium.

The theme for this year’s event was Family First, so many of the 49 teachers and administration performed with their children, siblings, etc.

With the backstage help of NHS and the Tech Crew, teachers and administrators performed an array of musical numbers that showed off their singing, dancing and instrumental skills.

“What’s so great about this is that it’s not just faculty and administration,” show director-producer  Dr. Melillo said. “Our family is participating too, and I know this may come as a surprise to the students, but some of us actually have some talent. We do this for the camaraderie and to forge new friendships. It’s just so much fun.”.

Tickets for this year’s show were $5 presale and $7 at the door. The money raised will go toward NHS student scholarships.

Posted Jan. 23

Meet your (probable) class valedictorian

Academic connoisseur Matthew Vanegas discusses his past, present, future


Senior Matthew Vanegas reflects on his childhood and high school years that have gotten him to this point. Vanegas is the prospective the valedictorian of the Class of 2017.

By Nassim Davila, Staff Intern

Matthew Vanegas—the prospective valedictorian of the Class of 2017—is planning for his future as his high school career draws to an accomplished close.

“High school has certainly been quite the experience,” he said.

Over the last 40 months, Vanegas has amassed an academic record with approximately 18 dual enrollment and AP classes under his belt. His friends and teachers say his exemplary work ethic, dedication and cognitive curiosity have gotten him to this point—a remarkable GPA of 5.2. And he isn’t stopping there.

“If I could describe Matthew in one word, it’d be ‘hard-working,’” Wady Valeriano—an academically competitive senior—stated about his friend, whom he had met in freshman year. “He just keeps on going.”

But despite his propensity for academic perfection, Vanegas didn’t strive to be valedictorian.

“The love of learning and just obtaining knowledge about the world that we exist in… That’s just what I want to do,” Vanegas said. “I want to learn about everything.”

The events in one’s childhood are typically crucial in determining the developmental path that individual takes. And for Vanegas, it was no different.

“Mom really stressed the whole intellectual creativity thing, and I guess that’s really helpful in the sense that it’s really how I’ve gotten here today,” Vanegas said. “I wasn’t given all the luxuries in life; my family had a low economic income and what not… As a result, I had a relatively simple upbringing.”

However, because of his academic merit, Vanegas is finding he has opportunities well beyond those he imagined.

“It’s really nice (to have opportunities), you know?” Vanegas said, grinning. “It allows me to have more ways to fulfill my passions.”

But there is such thing as too many options. With Vanegas’ extensive repertoire, “selecting” a future can potentially be overwhelming. Nonetheless, the process doesn’t disconcert him much.

“I don’t feel any apprehension about my future,” Vanegas said. “It’s more, like, indifference. Focus on the now. Work on the now. Do what you can now. That way, any apprehension or future uncertainty can be minimized.”

In college, Vanegas intends to major in either international relations, international business/law, a type of engineering (either mechanical or aeronautical) or computer science.

“I’m a STEM guy,” he said. “I like math. It’s what I’m interested in.”

Mr. Holley, Vanegas’ computer science teacher of two years, vouches for Vanegas’ academic excellence and enthusiasm.

“Matthew is extremely talented,” he said. “And he’s really good with computers.”

However, in spite of Vanegas’ generally unwavering confidence concerning his scholastic prospects, he does have an outstanding regret: spending too little time pursuing his own interests.

“This might sound ridiculous coming from the valedictorian, but I regret spending so much time on academics,” Vanegas said. “If I were to have a choice to redo (high school), I’d do academics, but I’d also kind of do my own things, like learning about cybersecurity.”

Furthermore, although Vanegas does not have any immediate apprehension, he has one long-term concern that has affected him psychologically.

“The biggest fear that I have is not living a fulfilled life,” Vanegas said. “I just think living an unfulfilled life is the worst thing about life itself.”

Having endured the last three years from his perspective, Matthew Vanegas has some advice to give to all seniors.

“Enjoy high school while it lasts,” he recommends. “Reality is crushing.”

Posted Jan. 18

Freshmen enjoy first Hoco court elections


Freshman Isabella Zapata is getting ready for homecoming. Zapata was a nominee for homecoming countess.

By Alexis Schatten, Staff Intern

The stairways were full of colorful posters wittily exclaiming to vote various students for court. The hallways were buzzing with conversations about who asked who or what dress someone’s bought. Homecoming was quickly approaching.

The girls running for homecoming countess didn’t seem to be concerned, though.

“I’m never going to be the smartest or the prettiest, but I can be the nicest,” Angelina Conforti, a freshman running for homecoming countess, said. “It’s okay if I don’t win, obviously; it’s just for fun.”

Conforti said she stayed calm and unbothered about the outcome, much more worried by upcoming math tests than by winning the title she ran for.

“To be honest, I’m really more stressed about making sure I’m getting my assignments done while still doing my after school activities,” Conforti said.

Freshman Geenisis Pachon said that despite her position as a nominee, she remained unconcerned about how people feel about her.

“I don’t think I have any more pressure put on me than anyone else. I’m running for myself, not for (the other students),” she said.

Freshman Isabella Zapata was not stressed about the election because she would have beenvery surprised to find that she won. She said her immediate reaction would probably be somewhere between disbelief and excitement.

“I’m a loser, so no one’s going to vote for me,” Zapata said, laughing. For both these candidates, Homecoming will be their first big dance as a high school student. In fact, before deciding to run, Zapata was unsure that she would even attend.

“Now that I’m running, I have a real reason to go,” she said.

Freshman Victoria Lucia said that she was running for Homecoming court because she thought it would be a great way to make new friends at a new school.

“I have actually become friends with all of them” she said.

Posted Dec. 13

NEHS donates books to schools

By Simon Ho, Assistant Graphic Design Editor

The National English Honor Society (NEHS) is collecting books from students to donate to underprivileged schools. The drive started Nov. 28 and ends Dec. 15.

The club is donating the books to Pompano Beach Middle School and Pompano Beach Elementary School and possibly other underprivileged schools.

“Pompano Beach Elementary has a slow education level,” NEHS vice president Sierra Molina said. “They don’t receive a proper reading level compared to other schools. We can increase their reading level and make their learning experience much more better.”

Some English teachers are offering extra-credit for those who donate books to the club.

The next meeting will be Dec. 7.

Posted: Dec.6

Environmental Club recycles, renews

By Simon Ho, Assistant Graphic Design Editor

The Environmental Club recycles for teachers every Thursday.

The Environmental Club plans to implement new water fountains including a water bottle refill station. The club also wants to start a recycling program at Pompano Beach Elementary School.

President Jason Kuretski, senior, said, “The environment is the most important thing to human life and it’s our generation that is going to be the most affected,” senior Jason Kuretski, club president, said. “By starting a recycling program, it can bring awareness and get kids interested and involved within the environment at a very early age.”

The club meets every Thursday in Mrs. Dupre’s room, 216.

Posted: Dec. 6

Drive my car

Students deal with licenses, permits

By Madison Tappa, Staff Intern

The majority of students have their learner’s permit or their driver’s license but some of them drive all the time and some of them hardly drive at all.

“I drive more than I like,” senior Annystasia Riley said. “I drive to work. Drive to get food. Drive everywhere.”

But sophomore Andra Danu only drives once or twice a month because her parents are more strict on her driving.

“Not that often,” Danu said to describe that she is not allowed to drive very often.

Most freshman are still 14 years old, so they are not allowed to drive yet, but Isabella Acosta has driven a car before. Acosta goes to the Dominican Republic where she is old enough to operate a car, but her parents only let her do it under certain conditions.

“Clear space and no intersections,” Acosta said. “Not lots of cars.”

Mr. McLemore, Security Specialist, said a couple hundred students drive to school, based on how many cars are parked in the student parking lots everyday. He said more students drive to school with their parents in the car than without.

Some students are allowed to drive to school by their parents while others are not. According to Annastaysia Riley, her parents have her drive everywhere including school as well because it’s convenient and she has her own car.

Other students like Andra Danu are hardly allowed to drive at all because her parents don’t.

“I neither encourage or discourage (students to drive to school),” Mr. McLemore said.

Posted: Nov. 10

Go home, seniors, go home!

Privilege replaces study hall for 12th graders

By Jessica Moschette, Staff Writer

Coming to school late or leaving early might not seem like something the school would endorse, but that’s exactly what happened when administrators offered senior privilege at the end of last school year. The 2016-17 school year opened up this opportunity for seniors to opt out of a personalization period and cut out one hour and 47 minutes of their school day.

Of 265 seniors, 228 chose the extra time off campus. Seniors reported using their free block for sleeping, completing homework, applying for college and working out.

“My grades are better this year,” senior Conrad Schlegel said. “I have more time to do my work.”

Senior privilege was introduced along with the new block schedule.

“Without block schedule, there would be no senior privilege option,” Principal Thomas said.

Senior Michelle Gutierrez leaves school early to go to her job at an audiology clinic, The Hearing Center of Broward. This time off of school allows her to work more hours, but also gives her time to keep up with homework and grades.

“I love the privilege and block schedule. Senior year is great so far,” Gutierrez said.

Students have even claimed their grades have improved and they aren’t as stressed as they were in previous years. Haley Johnson comes late on Blue Day and uses the time before school to study for her AP Statistics class, noticing significantly higher scores on her tests and a better understanding of the material.

“Senior year is going to be a productive year,” Johnson said.

The senior privilege combined with longer classes does not seem to be leading to reduced attendance. Attendance Secretary Mrs. Graves said that most seniors arrive and leave as they are supposed to, except the few “habitually tardy”students that are most likely to be tardy no matter what.

This senior privilege is making students more optimistic about what this year will bring.

“Senior year is going to be the most memorable year of my life,” Schlegel said. “I’m going to spend it with my friends and make great memories.”

Posted: Nov. 2

8 students published in national contest

By Kylie Severine, Staff Intern

Eight students submitted poems to a national contest and are now published poets.

“I didn’t even know my poem was entered,” senior Christine Duarte said.

The America Library of Poetry holds a contest each year where teachers are encouraged to send in poems written by young authors from grades 3-12 for the chance of publication individually or in class sets. The creative writing classes have submitted class sets of poems for the past three years, and teacher Dr. Melillo plans to continue this tradition this year.  

“I mean, kids who are published poets… to put that on your resume is pretty cool,” Dr. Melillo said.

For some students, this experience is exactly what they needed to take their writing to the next level.

“It was always a goal of mine to get published,” since they started writing around age 12, junior Jay Pearson said.  

Students got to select which poem to submit to represent their uniqueness.

“It makes you feel like your writing isn’t meaningless,” Duarte said.

Both Pearson and Duarte have entered other writing contests and feel as though creative writing classes improved their writing immensely, as they wrote every type of poem and developed their skills.

For Duarte, this contest meant one thing.

“Progress. I don’t see myself as a good writer but it was good to see someone did,” Duarte said.

Duarte Christine wrote a love story based off of something she had read that stuck with her, and although it wasn’t based off of her own life, she still saw its importance.

“You should write for others,” Duarte said.

While Duarte wrote about a more traditional topic, Pearson wrote about something very sensitive to them.

“I’m not worried about if other people read it, I’m worried if my family reads it,” Pearson said.

Pearson wrote about their eating disorder, a topic that was very personal and difficult to share with anyone, especially when they don’t usually share much with their family anyways.

“I don’t share much of my feelings, and my writing is very secretive,” Pearson said.

While the topic of their eating disorder was very sensitive, Pearson said they hoped that it might help someone else and wishes they had been clearer about what they meant.

“Even the title was kind of coded,” Pearson said.

Dr. Melillo said the diversity of these poets continues the diversity of the  12 authors from this school who have been published in the past three years.

“They were all different,” Dr. Melillo said. “But they had universal themes. These poems were from third grade to 12th, and you read some of this third grade stuff and… wow.”

The one tip that Dr. Melillo chose to share was this: “Simple complexity is best.”

She explained that it’s better to write in “clean” or clear writing to express a deeper theme than to get caught up in flowery language and showing off your vocabulary.

The book has already been printed and will be published in December.

Dr. Melillo had advice for anyone worried about getting rejected by a writing contest.

“Don’t take it personally,” Dr. Melillo said, “You never know what will appeal to someone.”

Posted: Oct. 31

JROTC remembers fallen heroes

By Nicolas Gallardo, Graphic Design Editor

JROTC’s 11th annual Fallen Heroes Ceremony will be on Nov. 10 in the courtyard to honor the soldiers that have fallen to protect our country since 9/11.

Veterans from World War II across the state and Pompano Beach Mayor Lamar Fisher will attend this event.

Students in JROTC class will be collecting donations to buy flags that represent each fallen hero.

“I highly respect the fallen heroes and feel proud to honor their ultimate sacrifice,” Ryan Russo, company officer, said.

Posted: Oct. 31

Internal issues lead to color guard’s downfall

By Maria Suarez, Centerspread Editor

Color guard members are considering discontinuing the activity due to heavy dues, no funds and not enough attention.

Senior Alina Britto claimed members are disappointed about the downfall of the extracurricular activity.

Having spent three years taking part in color guard, Britto, who was captain of the team, said that those three years underwent a lot of changes with each year getting worse, leading to the club almost being discontinued.

“I wouldn’t even consider (color guard) a club,” Britto said. “We weren’t even put on the school’s website as a club. We were put on as a part of band, which we were only involved in band for about half the year and the rest we were winter guard, but we were never a club alone.”

According to Britto, some issues color guard faced was the lack of school funds, heavy student dues and poor instructors, who didn’t pay much attention to the students involved.

“It was hard to recruit new students without the help of the school,” Britto said. “The school never even gave us a bus to go to the competitions. We had a parent who felt bad for us, which is why they helped fund for the club so that the student dues weren’t as bad.

“But I mean, the school funds every other club and sport, it even gives athletes a bus to attend their games, while color guard students had to find a parent with a big enough truck to take us to our competitions.”

According to Ms. Narus, assistant principal overseeing student activities, members need to understand that the school doesn’t pay for any clubs or extracurricular activities. The school allows students to have clubs and sports as a privilege, but students have to work hard to keep the club going because the school doesn’t fund them.

“Students didn’t pay dues,” Ms. Narus said. “Color guard is an extracurricular and it needs to be paid and the school isn’t required to pay it. The school doesn’t fund any club. The Athletic Booster (Club) funds the sports, and they pay for sports equipment, buses and games.”

According to music director Ms. Odio, for the previous three years a parent, Bill Dowd, had funded the club with a minimum of $25,000, which lowered the dues amount for students and it provided the club with its equipment and instructors. When Dowd’s daughter graduated, students had to start paying their full amount of dues and needed to begin new fundraising strategies. Ms. Odio said students did not adjust to the new financial reality.

“All these people (students and parents) who didn’t have to pay their dues (before), had to pay (now) and (they) didn’t want to pay,” Odio said.

With many members’ dues unpaid, the group needed to have fundraisers to raise money. The members had the whole year to raise money, Odio said, but organized only one car wash.

In addition to financial issues, Britto also claims the advisors’ and instructors’ lacked sufficient interest to continue the group.

“One of the instructors was not only helping us students practice but he was also involved in four other schools, which is why he wasn’t able to attend some practices,” Britto said. “Ms. Odio was always concentrated about band so we were never really the spotlight of her attention and every year the instructors just lost more interest in the club.”

Britto added, “I don’t even ever recall seeing Mr. Thomas at any of the competitions.”

Britto went as far as deciding to quit the color guard club so that she would be able to take part on another school’s team, but since two students chose to remain, she wasn’t allowed to perform for another school.

Senior Tyler Barrett, a captain along with Britto, said that it was Ms. Odio’s fault that interest fell.

“Ms. Odio without a doubt was to blame for the downfall of guard,” Barrett said. “She showed no encouragement for us, she got mad every time we tried to talk to her, and she even told us that band was more important to her than guard.”

According to Ms. Odio, when she expressed to color guard that her main focus was on band, the words came out wrong causing misunderstandings amongst the club members.

“I apologized to them,” Odio said. “I even clarified myself. They felt like they were excluded, but I did care for them. I cared enough to provide great instructors for them.”

As music director, Odio is in charge of band, chorus, guard, orchestra and all other music organizations in the school, but her main specialty is band, which is why she provided instructors. She said the instructors would get frustrated with color guard because members were inconsistent in their attendance.

“Instructors were getting frustrated because only five students would show up to practice out of a group of 17 members,” Ms. Odio said.

Although Britto and Barrett have quit the club, some members, such as junior Pedro Renteria, remained to attempt to rescue the club.

“The club is on a hiatus because of a lack of funds and members,” Renteria said. “We are using this year as a recruitment year so that we can continue the program next year.”

The club’s goal this year is to recruit students, something that had to be done last spring. Odio has a list of 40 interested freshmen, while the club members as a whole have recruited another five.

With all the negative put aside, all current and previous members agree that color guard built strong relationships.

“I learned so much and made so many memories which involve people who I call my friends today,” Britto said.

Posted: Oct. 24

Chorus hopes for high notes

By Christina Matiuk, Back Page Editor

Chorus continues to perform this year with a fairly small group, building on technique as they move forward, utilizing teamwork to sing well in their performances.

“Everyone gets along and is friends in Chorus,” said Isabella Bennett, a piano player hoping to build more music skill and technique while in the chorus. “It’s all about learning how to sing together, and really how to build off each other.”

The group plans to perform at John Knox, an elderly home, sometime in October and perform in Orlando at the Disney Candlelight on Dec. 3. In the future, Chorus hopes to recruit more male singers and continue to build on individual skills.

Posted: Oct. 11

Book Club opens new chapter

By Simon Ho, Assistant Graphic Design Editor

The Book Club provides a new forum for members to read books and discuss them during meetings.

“Reading is a very important skill,” founding president Sabrina Conza said. “We will be reading at least one book every two months. I want to fundraise to not have to pay for the books.”

Along with Conza, the other officers are Vice President Brianna Donnelly, Secretary Zoe Rosser, Treasurers Daniela Schonis and Juan Castillo, Historian Victor Lopez, Parliamentarian Simon Ho and ICC Representative Opeoluwa Morakinyo.

This month, they will be reading “Unwind,” a science fiction novel.

The next Book Club meeting will be Oct. 20 in Ms. Wilson’s room, 207. New members are welcome.

Posted: Sept. 28

iPhone 7: Not jacked up

By Christina Matiuk, Back Page Editor


Graphic By Nicolas Gallardo

Apple’s iPhone 7, which was released in early September and launched in mid-September, is the newest and most improved iPhone, with a significantly longer battery life, a new color, faster processors and better water resistance.

One eminent feature of iPhone 7 is the water resistance, which was implemented through taking away the headphone jack and the “real” home button. The new home button is pressure sensitive and meant to mimic the previous home button. Taking away the headphone jack, with pros and cons, also improved the better water resistance.

“It’s not right,” sophomore Mikella Coradeghini said. “Apple should have left the jack the way it was, and instead focused on improving other things, like a three-way Facetime feature; it’s what people actually want.”

Apple designed wireless, bluetooth headphones and a Lightning adapter in place of the jack. Stereo speakers were also installed at the top and bottom of the phone.

“Based on the headphones’ size, I think they would be lost very quickly,” sophomore Marcella Britto said.

A new color, jet black was added to the spectrum of optional colors for the iPhone 7. Jet black has a glossy finish, while the black, silver, gold and rose gold have a shinier matte-like texture. The screen sizes of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remain the same as the previous iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, respectively. On the surface the two phones look very similar, but there are few visual differences.

Another preeminent and new feature is the dual camera, added to the iPhone 7 Plus. In addition to the first 28mm wide-angle lens, the iPhone 7 Plus has a second 56mm lens, which was added for improved optical zoom.

Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have a 50 percent brighter LED flash, compared to previous iPhone models, plus a renovated 7-megapixel Facetime camera in HD with a new sensor and stabilization technology for a better front-camera.

A faster processor has been added to the new iPhone. Both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus use the same processor, the A10 Fusion Chip. The previous chip in the 6 and 6s phones was an A9 Chip. LTE, a form of wireless communication, is three-times faster than the iPhone 6.

“Speed is probably the most important feature to me, especially in texting, so that’s a major plus for Apple.” Britto, commented.

The price went up $100 from the 6s to the 7, and then $120 from the 6s Plus, to the 7 Plus. The iPhone 6s is $549 and the price for the iPhone 7 is $649. The iPhone 6s Plus is $649 and the price of the iPhone 7 Plus is $769.

“If I can get, basically, the same thing with the iPhone 6s, I don’t see the point in getting the new phone,” Coradeghini said.

Apple expects the iPhone 7 to sell exponentially, and the Apple stock  is expected to rise 20 percent over the next 12 months, according to CNBC.

Posted: Sept. 21

It’s no debate: Singer enjoys 3 years on team

By Diana Lopez, Opinion Editor

Having three years of experience, junior Matt Singer enjoys competing and teaching the younger students. He recognizes the advantages of being part of the debate team.

“It teaches [students] important speaking skills, it opens up opportunities for the rest of their lives and it looks really good on college applications,” Singer said.

It is the debate team’s goal to promote teamwork and advocacy through speech, and the debating circumstances cause its members to constantly come in contact with new people from other high schools around the state and around the country.

Ms. Petit, who has led the team for all of its three years, knows that being a member of the team takes commitment and hard work, yet sees how much of a positive effect it has on its members.

“Each debater pays to compete at every tournament,” Petit said. “We also have to bring our own referees or get fined. In spite of the many responsibilities, students have a tremendous amount of fun and forget about the toil once they’re debating in tournament rounds.”

Although moving on to harder competitions and fundraising is challenging at times, members take pride in being part of this team that gives them many opportunities.

“I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t take debate,” Singer said. “It teaches you to be a good speaker and to move on throughout your life.”

Posted: May 31

Holley’s class pops most tabs for McD’s charity

By Madison Steinkamp, Student Life Editor

While you may look to McDonald’s for a quick snack, families across the country look towards McDonald’s and the Ronald McDonald House Charities for help in a desperate time of need.

The National Honor Society held a pop tab collection contest to raise awareness and funds for RMHC. Winning a pizza party for most tabs collected was tech teacher Mr. Holley’s seventh period.

Since February, NHS had been asking for pop tab donations and collected all the final donations “sometime in late April” NHS secretary Ashley Lin said.

Once collected, pop tabs are delivered to specific drop off centers. RMHC then sells the aluminum to recycling centers and used the proceeds to support the houses.

Since 2005 the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida has collected over 40 million pop tabs. Its goal for this year is to collect enough pop tabs to help the environment and to raise funds for their houses.

While NHS did not have a goal number of pop tabs to be collected, the club was hoping to at least collect as many as it did last year, even though it started collections later.

Mrs. Hammond’s class, last year’s winner, collected the second most.

Posted: May 5

Booth, Magri end year on high note

By Melanie Trump, Asst. Student Life Editor

The music department hosted its annual spring concert on April 25. Featured senior performers included violinist Taryn Booth and soprano Tatiana Magri.

“Through the last four years, this orchestra has grown significantly,” Booth said. “I’m very proud and excited to see where it will go.”The first performers of the night, the orchestra, played “Pizz and Polish” by Thom Sharp, “The Magical World of Pixar” arranged by Robert Longfield and “Oblivion,” composed by Astor Piazzolla and arranged by Robert Longfield, featuring Booth as the soloist.

The chorus was the second ensemble to perform, singing “Seize the Day” arranged by Roger Emerson, “I See the Light” arranged by Mac Huff, and a “’60s Rewind” arranged by Kirby Shaw.

“I See the Light” featured Magri and junior Ryan Stephenson.
Magri was “very honored to represent chorus” and “very proud to contribute to the chorus as a whole.”

The final ensemble to perform in the annual spring concert was the concert band, playing three pieces: “Escapada” by David Moore, “Ashford Celebration” by Ralph Ford and “Guardians of the Galaxy” arranged by Michael Brown.

Freshman Roweena Aung said that the concert was “one of the best” and “most memorable” experiences she has ever had in band.

“The pressure makes us (the band) really work hard,” Aung said. “In general, we perform better in front of an audience.”

Posted: May 5

When do you want your study hall next period?

Posted: April 7

Who is attending the SGA convention this weekend?

Posted: March 31

‘Zootopia’ brings fun to everyone

By Garrett Moore, Asst. Business Editor

The new movie “Zootopia,” directed by Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush, is about animals who are living in the city with no humans ever existing.

The story goes on to be about animals anywhere from the biggest element to the smallest shrew getting along in the city. The main character, Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin), wants to become the first rabbit on the force, but she needs to do some detective work to be accepted.

Overall the movie was lots of fun to watch. All types of animals, from a scam artist fox to a case-solving otter, show that anything is possible in the city of Zootopia.

I am not the only one who liked it…. Even though it came out on March 4, it is the number one most liked movie on Rotten Tomatoes with a 99 percent like rate.

Overall, I would give the movie a solid 4.5 stars.

Posted: March 17

Pompano Candid35

Seniors Paulo Bazan, Dylan Pinard, Remy Bassett-Audain and Tyler Nemeth (left to right) represent the school on School Duel, an academic tournament television show where students from various schools answer questions to earn points. Over 60 schools competed, and the team was one of the 20 to advance to the televised round. On Jan. 28, the team defeated J.P. Taravella High School 600-320. The team competed against Cooper City High School on March 3, losing 520-320. Pinard won School Duel’s Chick-fil-A challenge, earning free chicken sandwiches for one year, by answering the most questions correctly throughout the Jan. 28 episode. Photo courtesy of School Duel

Posted: March 3

Travelers take Switzerland, Italy

By Sabrina Conza, Managing Editor

Assistant principal Ms. Narus and the International Traveling Tornadoes have been planning and preparing for a trip to Switzerland and Italy for a year. This trip will take place during Spring Break, March 17-26.

According to Ms. Narus, 17 students and five adults will be on the field trip. Students paid $3685 for their spots.

“We chose to go to Switzerland because we have a partnership with a school there, and Italy is a bordering country that everyone wanted to go to,” Ms. Narus said.

During their first three days in Switzerland, the Traveling Tornadoes will be in Brunnen, near Zurich. While there, they will attend a Swiss school that PBHS is partnered with.

Some students from this school will be coming to PBHS to experience our school in either April or May of this year, according to Ms. Narus.

The students that are going on the trip seem to be most excited for visiting the Swiss school.

“I’m really excited to meet the swiss students. We’ve been talking to them and getting to know them already, and I really want to see what it is like to be a teenager in Switzerland,” senior Hannah Lindgren said.

Senior Alexis Alonso agrees.

“The Swiss students are so funny. I’m so excited to meet them in person,” Alonso said.

The students from PBHS will also be visiting either a Swiss Army Factory or a Chocolate Factory, depending on each student’s choice.

“On March 18, we’re going to do something pretty cool. We’re going airboarding, which is kind of like sledding,” Ms. Narus said.

Also on March 18, each student will be staying with a host family for one night to experience the realities of Swiss family life.

Then on March 19, the students will be able to tour a cave in Brunnen, and then get on a bus to Lucerne for lunch and a day of shopping.

Junior Sarah Austin will be traveling with the school. She said that she is “very excited” to attend the Swiss school and “learn more about Swiss culture.”

On March 20, the Traveling Tornadoes will be departing Brunnen for Venice, Italy. While there, the students will go on a guided sightseeing tour through the city. They will also be touring Doge’s Palace, a prime example of Venetian Gothic architecture.

The day before they depart, the Tornadoes will be going shopping in Venice and going on a gondola tour through the canals.

The Tornadoes will leave Venice for Florence, Italy, on March 22. While there, they will tour the famous churches and museums of Florence, as well as go sightseeing and visit the Duomo, the city’s Renaissance cathedral.

Next, the Tornadoes will travel to Rome, the capital of Italy. While in Rome, the students will tour the Vatican, a city-state within Rome that is the seat of the Catholic Church and the home of the Pope. They will then embark on a guided tour of ancient Rome to see structures such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Roman Forum.

Alonso has been on multiple school trips in the past, including the trips to Costa Rica and Sweden last year.

“I expect this trip to be similar to the Sweden trip, since they’re both in Europe,” Alonso said. “I am really looking forward to comparing the different European countries.”

Alonso has been on so many trips because she has a use for the things that she learns in the countries that she visits.

“I love to share my experiences with my friends and peers. I’ve learned to appreciate what I have, while accepting and embracing the cultures that I learn about.”

This summer there will be a trip to Poland, according to Ms. Narus, and there may also be trips to Spain, France and/or Turkey next year.

Posted: March 3

Write to win:

Scribes move on to Broward Literary Fair

By Sydney Van Dreason, Editor in Chief


Doctor Mellilo presents senior Ashley Gordon with the first place award for villanelle at the school-wide Literary Fair on Feb. 18. Gordon won six awards at the event, and she will be moving on to the Broward County Literary Fair along with the other first place winners. Photo by Sabrina Conza

At the school-wide Literary Fair, held on Feb. 18, creative writers were awarded prizes in 23 different categories, and winners qualified for the Broward County Literary Fair.

“My students in creative writing were required to enter,” English teacher Dr. Melillo said.

“The majority of other entries are Ms. Wilson’s ninth graders. (The Literary Fair) was opened to the whole school through the English teachers.”

This year, 126 entries were divided into categories and read by the entire English department to determine first, second and third places.

First-place entries will be published in the student online literary magazine and submitted to the Broward County Literary Fair.

“I felt pretty awesome, especially since sestina was a very competitive category this year,” senior Allison Wilson, who won first place in the sestina category, said. “It was nice to have my writing be validated by my peers and teachers.”

Other first place winners included junior Stephanie Freeborn for spoken word, sophomore Rebecca Yap for free verse, senior Rachel Banks for sonnet, freshman Juan Rubio for satirical cartoon, sophomore Vincent Garcia for ode, freshman Sara Kline for children’s book and senior Gavin Peterson for scene writing.

Certificates were given at the school fair to all first-, second- and third-place winners. Senior Ashley Gordon stole the show with six awards, one of which was ranked first place in the villanelle category.

“I feel accomplished,” Gordon said.

Gordon has won two awards at the Broward Literary Fair in the past: second place for her sonnet “Asylum,” and second place for her short story “Tomorrow.”

The Broward County Literary Fair will take place in April. There, students have the opportunity to win trophies, attend a ceremony and have their names listed in a book if they win.

“(The Literary Fair) encourages students to display their creative writing and display their skill,” Dr. Melillo said.

Posted: March 3

Sunny steps into Sunshine State

By Rebekah Garretson, Centerspread Editor

Twelve teenage students and three adults from Fu Dan High School in Chongqing, China, visited the school Feb. 1-5. The Chinese visitors shadowed a selected group of students, taking part in their classes and seeing the U.S. high school experience first hand.

Luckily, I was given the opportunity to be a mentor to one of the shadows, Cheng Zi Yao, also known as “Sunny.” As a mentor, my curiosity about Sunny and China was piqued, so here are a few questions I asked Sunny about her experiences in Florida and at our school.

Q: What has been your favorite part about the United States, especially Florida?
Sunny: “I like the people because they are very friendly and easygoing. I enjoy the environment as well, like the sky, because it is very beautiful and clean. There are so many clubs at your school that I find so intriguing. Even the people have so many ideas, as well as are zealous and open.”

Q: How do you like the environment outside of our school? Do you like the movie theatres, restaurants and food we have both inside and outside of school?
Sunny: “I think there is more things we can do outside the school here. For example, we went to play golf on Tuesday. It was my first time playing golf, but was different because in our school we cannot do these things such as play golf. I also like the restaurants, although it’s more Americanized food. The food is very different from our food, because there is more variety whereas in China it is boring because we eat the same things, but I think the pizza and pie are very good. The only thing I do not like as much is your school rice!”

Q: How do our teachers differ from yours? Do you like our teachers?
Sunny: “I like your teachers because they are very humorous and accommodating to the students. They give students the chance to think about questions by themselves, which is great. I like how they also make students like their friends and give them the right to do what they want. Our teachers in China are patient but always very strict to us, mostly because everything in our school is dependent on us. Also, our teachers come to our classroom, whereas your teachers stay in a classroom and the students have to move from class to class.”

Q: Does your school have social events, like dances, that students can participate in together?
Sunny: “No, at our school in China we do not have any dances. Students, however, participate in an exercise morning routine together at 10:38 a.m. during school hours. At this exercise routine, students learn how to kick box in unison.”

Q: In China, your school hours are different from ours. How does your daily school schedule work in comparison to ours?
Sunny: “Yes, our school begins at 7:00 in the morning and goes until 12:00 in the afternoon. We then have a break, before we have to return to our school at 6:00 in the afternoon until 10:00 at night. In your school, teachers allow you to go to the bathroom during class, but our teachers do not. There is a 40 minute break given to us, where we can go to the bathroom and relax before more classes begin.”

Q: What type of classes do you study? How did you decide what you wanted to study?
Sunny: “I study in the art school, which is different than some of the other kids in my school. We are allowed to study in the math, science, or art school. I choose art school, where I take classes such as Geography, History, and Politics. All these classes I hope will help me to become an accountant. For fun, I even designed a shirt for my class at the art school!”

Posted: Feb.22

Clue’ comes to life:

Thespian’s stage murder mystery

By Reese McFarlane, Photo Editor

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Senior Javonda Carter, senior Allison Wilson, junior Taylor Long, freshman Jessica Romer, senior Stephanie Young and junior Catherine Hollows (from left to right) act out a scene in their performance. The Murder Café provided food, drinks and an interactive murder mystery for its audience.

Mr. Henderson took over the Drama department this year and has added a few new creeping surprises to intrigue members and students. One of these new surprises is the Murder Café.
On Jan. 28 the drama students converted the drama classroom into a murder mystery scene. The audience received a light dinner, dessert and drink, while they tried to figure out who the murderer was.
After watching half of the play, each table had the opportunity to ask the actors, or suspects, questions to discover the murderer.
Co-presidents of the International Thespians Society, juniors Stephanie Freeborn and Najah Shaffiers, are excited about what this new project brings to the theatre department.
Shaffiers hopes “that the high audience involvement will get students thrilled and raise awareness for other drama club acts like ‘Lost in Yonkers,’ the spring play.”
There were two showings, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m.

Posted: Feb.18

Drama finds ‘Yonkers’ for spring play

By Sydney Van Dreason, Editor-in-Chief

The drama department will open the curtains on March 10 and 11 at 7 p.m. with their spring play, “Lost in Yonkers.”

“We chose this play because it was a good play to compete with in a competition across all the drama departments called the Cappies,” senior Ryan Swart, who plays the main character’s brother, Louie, in the play, said. “It’s kind of like the Oscars for high school.”

The play is about a mentally challenged woman in her mid-thirties named Bella when her brother, Eddie, drops off his two young sons at her house so that he can go find work elsewhere. The boys are left to face the world of Yonkers in 1942 with Bella’s stern mother, secret romance and other brother, Louie.

Junior Stephanie Freeborn, who plays Bella’s sister Gert, who has breathing problems and anxiety, said that the cast started working on the play “right after Winter Break ended.”

“The hardest thing really is memorizing all the lines,” Swart said. “It can be quite frustrating when you’re trying to get your character down, and you can’t even remember your lines.”

Along with Freeborn and Swart, juniors Catherine Hollows and Taylor Long also star in the play as Bella and Bella’s mother, a mean and old grandmother, respectively.

“We are striving to get a lot of nominations for all the people who have parts in the play,” Swart said. “Most importantly, we want to do the play justice and just put on a show that the people will enjoy and will remember.”

Tickets for the show are $5 for preorder, which is undetermined right now, and $7 at the door.

Posted: Feb.11

Stryke 2 strikes down competition

By Melanie Trump, Asst. Student Life Editor


Junior Camilla Lin plays vibraphone in the competitive performing ensemble, Stryke Percussion 2. Stryke Percussion 2 earned first place in class at the first local competition on Jan. 30,

Junior Camilla Lin has been working with the ensemble Stryke Percussion 2 on its show, “Red”, after auditioning in November and earning a spot playing vibraphone. The ensemble participates in indoor percussion season, which involves competitions from January to April.

“[Performing with Stryke 2] is an incredible experience, especially since it is my first indoor percussion season,” Lin said. “It’s great bonding with other members because we’re together for such long periods at once.”

Lin performed with the group at Flanagan High School’s 16th annual Friends and Family Night on Jan. 29 alongside many other winter guard and winter wind ensembles. This performance gave the ensemble the opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd before the first local show of the season.

Stryke Percussion 2 earned first place in the Percussion Independent Open Class at the South Dade High School South Florida Winter Guard Association Premier Show on Jan. 30.

Lin was “ecstatic” when she found out her ensemble earned first in class but said she knows “there’s still room for improvement” and “can’t wait for the entire show to come together.”

Stryke Percussion 2’s next performance is Feb. 13 at Olympic Heights High School.

‘It Girl’ Series all that

By Sabrina Conza, Managing Editor

The “Gossip Girl” novels have all topped the New York Times Bestseller list, and the series has even been made into a TV show, but the spin-off series “It Girl,” written by Cecily von Ziegesar, has been treated like “Gossip Girl”’s ugly sister.

The “It Girl” series begins with Jenny Humphrey, one of the minor characters in “Gossip Girl”, arriving at her new boarding school in upstate New York. Throughout the series, Jenny and her new friends, including Callie, Brett and Tinsley, continue to stir up drama and go on fun, and somewhat ethically questionable, adventures.

There is obviously drama within the group of friends, seeing as each girl has a strong personality and is pretty catty, but this only serves to spice up the series and make it more appealing to the targeted audience: teenage girls.

The 10-book series has everything that “Gossip Girl” has: drama, romance, parties, adventures; all that it’s missing is Gossip Girl herself.

Although this series started off strong, in terms of popularity and profits, with the first book topping the New York Times Bestseller list, it has fallen to the point where none of the books are even being printed anymore, even though the first book only came out 10 years ago in November 2005; I had to find and purchase each book through used book stores and Amazon.

The “It Girl” series is extremely good and, in my opinion, underrated in the young adult genre. I would recommend this series to anyone who loves young adult fiction, especially those who enjoyed reading the “Gossip Girl” books or watching the TV series.

Posted: Feb.4

‘Clue’ comes to life:
Thespian’s stage murder mystery

By Reese McFarlane, Photo Editor

Mr. Henderson took over the Drama department this year and has added a few new creeping surprises to intrigue members and students. One of these new surprises is the Murder Café.

On Jan. 28 the drama students converted the drama classroom into a murder mystery scene. The audience received a light dinner, dessert and drink, while they tried to figure out who the murderer was.

After watching half of the play, each table had the opportunity to ask the actors, or suspects, questions to discover the murderer.

Co-presidents of the International Thespians Society, juniors Stephanie Freeborn and Najah Shaffiers, are excited about what this new project brings to the theatre department.

Shaffiers hopes “that the high audience involvement will get students thrilled and raise awareness for other drama club acts like ‘Lost in Yonkers,’ the spring play.”

There were two showings, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m..

Posted: Feb.1

College tour cancelled

By Joao De Moura, Asst. Graphic Design Editor

The college tour in October was cancelled and moved to a week before spring break in March.
Fifty-four students were going on this trip and are receiving refunds unless they will be attending the tour next year, according to Ms. McFadden.
Some students were disappointed.
“I was looking forward to the tour but I’ll admit I really wanted to go to Halloween Horror Nights,” said Sarah Huben, junior.
The tour in March will still include a visit to the same colleges, Florida State, Florida, Central Florida, Florida A&M and South Florida, plus a visit to Universal Studios in Orlando.
The tour was canceled because of bad timing.
“Parents of senior students complained that they had to pay for senior packages, homecoming, and the trip, so most of the students didn’t pay the other half of the tour,” said Ms. McFadden.
So far, 41 students have already paid for the rescheduled tour.
“The last day to sign up and pay for the trip will be after winter break,” said Ms. McFadden.

Posted: Jan. 28

‘Concussion’ crushed it

By Garrett Moore, Asst. Business Manager

The new movie “Concussion,” directed by Peter Landesman, is based on the real life experiences of Dr. Bennet Omalu trying to raise awareness of an issue that the NFL faces, along with many past, current, and future players: concussions.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie and the acting by Will Smith, who played Dr. Omalu, and Alec Baldwin, who played Dr. Julian Bailes, who worked alongside Dr. Omalu.

The movie discusses athletic injuries (to the head specifically) and how many people aren’t aware that many accidents have occurred in the history of sports. These serious injuries can negatively affect athletes’ lives and are rarely talked about. The movie is mostly about the science behind the brain and the many traumas that the brain can endure during the tough football season.

If you enjoy football and/or the science behind it, then you will definitely enjoy “Concussion.”

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Posted: Jan. 28

Puppies in Pompano


Nick, a German Shepard mixed puppy, is currently being fostered by school counselor, Ms. Fish. Though he has already been adopted, Ms. Fish is helping him grow accustomed to a social environment.

Posted: Jan. 21

Emmy’s Heart makes tutus for cancer patients

By Kristina Kassis, Staff Intern

The life of kids who are cancer patients is very difficult. Many times they have to go through treatments that can make them feel down.

Tutus can make a kid smile, and the club Emmy’s Heart makes tutus for kids who are cancer patients to put a smile on their faces.

“It’s a great opportunity to give back to your community and children with disabilities,” vice-president Samantha Baron said.

Every third Monday of each month, students gather in Dr. Singkornrat’s room after school. Groups of two to three students work together to create the tutus made of different colored tulle strung together on a rubber band.

Once the tutus are made, they are sent to Joe Dimaggio’s Children’s Hospital and handed out to the patients. So far, only the girls have been receiving tutus, but Dr. Singkornrat is working with the students to come up with an idea to make something special for the boys.

Last year, Heoyeon Kim came to Dr. Singkornrat with the idea for bringing Emmy’s Heart, a non-profit charity, to school. Immediately, Dr. Singkornrat decided to sponsor it because she said she “loves the cause and the people.”

Kim’s sister, Seoyeon, is the current president and decided to join because of her sister.

“You do something that benefits children who don’t have the opportunity to live a normal childhood,” Seoyeon Kim said.

As this is only the second year for the club, Seoyeon Kim is working with Dr. Singkornrat to try and visit the hospital and personally hand out tutus. The club also devised ideas of how to fundraise for the materials to make them, for now it only has donations.

Emmy’s Heart is mainly student run, as Dr. Singkornrat stays on the side and observes. She loves to see the students take initiative and be dedicated.
“Joining Emmy’s Heart gives you the opportunity to work with charity and promotes leadership,” said Dr. Singkornrat.

Posted: Jan. 14

Musicians perform with honors ensembles

By Melanie Trump, Asst. Student Life Editor

Four students made All County Honors Bands and Orchestras after auditions during the winter through the Broward County Band Directors Association and Florida Orchestra Association.

Freshman band member Malik McGowan, alto saxophone player, auditioned for the All County Honors Band and earned a spot in the performing ensemble. He previously made the All County Honors Band in middle school.

“In high school All County, there is more competition and responsibility among each individual player,” McGowan said. “Instantly, we are expected to know how to play music with a few minor mistakes, but that’s why we were chosen.”

Three other students made the All County Orchestra: sophomore Samantha Baron, violinist; sophomore Lillian Piccolo, cellist; and freshman Maxim Baron, string bassist. All three are also members of the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra.

“All of my hard work paid off. It was fulfilling to know that I accomplished something like this, Piccolo said.

Samantha Baron additionally earned a spot in the All-State Orchestra.

The students selected to perform within these ensembles attend rehearsals outside of their own music programs.

The All County Band Performance is Jan. 21 and the All County Orchestra performance is Feb. 9. Both are at the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts.

Posted: Jan. 1

Walk like a man

Pinard crowned Mr. Pompano

By Sydney Van Dreason, Editor-in-Chief


Senior Dylan Pinard, winner of Mr. Pompano, is held up by his opponents.  Some opponents include (from left to right) runner up Remy Bassett-Audain, Daniel Chalco, Zachary Ingaro, Jonathan Riedel, Ryan Swart, Jonathan Machado, and Brandon Andinomartes.

Senior boys have the opportunity every year to show off their talents and strut their stuff with the hopes of being crowned the next Mr. Pompano, and this year’s show was no different.

“It’s always been a fundraiser done by the senior class,” senior class president Camila Rodriguez said. “It’s become sort of a tradition now.”

The show began with a choreographed group number, followed by the bathing suit portion, a talent round and an on-the-spot question segment.

Students from all classes attended the event to witness Dylan Pinard take home the crown. The runner-up was Remy Bassett-Audain.

“I felt like I was on top of the world,” Pinard said. “I really hoped that my hard work paid off. Winning was definitely one of the peaks of my high school experiences, especially when the crowd was chanting my name.”

Pinard won the hearts of the audience after singing the theme song from “Titanic” to fellow senior Theodore Eisner, who made a guest appearance on stage. Pinard dedicated the song to Eisner and invited him up on stage to share the moment.

“I knew that if I could make my act funny, I’d have a chance at winning,” Pinard said.

Among the other talent acts that were crowd favorites were an impersonation of Donald Trump by Bassett-Audain, a cover of Adele’s song “Hello” by Ryan Swart and a mirror dance by twins Blake and Colby Riedel.

The on-the-spot question round was also filled with crowd pleasers and quirky answers.

While Bassett-Audain and Swart were both memorable for their sarcastic and witty responses, Pinard once again stood out to the audience by saying that the first thing he would do as president would be to make college free.

“Ever since I saw Mr. Pompano in 2013, I knew that I would at least run for the title in my senior year,” Pinard said. “I encourage all underclassmen to do Mr. Pompano. My only warning is that if someone is interested in doing it, he has got to be confident with his body and his act.”

This year marked the fifth year of the annual show, and it went down in the record books as having the largest number of competitors, 12, in Mr. Pompano history.

This event also raised “approximately $2,400” for the senior class, according to Rodriguez.

Posted: Dec. 8

Sci-Fi lovers should watch ‘The Martian’

By Sabrina Conza, Managing Editor

The newest science fiction movie, based on the novel “The Martian” by Andy Weir, entered theaters on Oct. 2 and topped Box Office Profits for the next two weeks, according to Box Office Mojo.

This movie achieved such large profits because it was one of the most creative science fiction movies that I have ever seen. “The Martian” is about an astronaut, Mark Watney, who is played by Matt Damon, being stranded on Mars. The other astronauts who were on the expedition ended up leaving him on Mars because it seemed that he was dead, and they had to leave the planet due to a sand storm.

Damon’s character works hard to survive on his own by rationing food and learning to grow crops on a planet where they cannot grow. He also attempts to communicate with NASA, who thinks that he is dead.

Although I know that no human has ever been to Mars, I found myself forgetting that due to the realistic elements of the movie. I felt like I was watching a movie based on real events, like “October Sky” or “Apollo 13” because the amount of human emotion and accurate scientific processes made the movie feel relatable.

I would recommend the movie to anyone, even if sci-fi is not his cup of tea. I can’t imagine someone disliking such an amazing movie.

Posted: Dec. 3

What change in the cafeteria do you want most?

Homecoming killed by booze

By Jamie Black and Starla Bolowich, Staff Interns

Due to recent events, homecoming has now become something overshadowed by drinking.

“Children drank alcohol before they came, so some of them were not able to control themselves,” Assistant Principal Carlson said.

SGA members along with their advisor, Ms. Gould, feel like drinking stole the spotlight away from the Night in Wonderland that so much time was put into creating.

“Setting up [for homecoming] began the week of homecoming, but preparations and sorting everything out began over summer,” sophomore Vincent Garcia, a member of SGA, said.

SGA members feel that those who attended didn’t focus on all the work they put into the dance and instead focused on what happened on the dance floor, which was like “a pit of germs,” according to sophomore Maria Tuiran.

SGA advisor Ms.Gould spotted evidence that drinking was going on.

“When I was there, two girls came outside that had been drinking, and it was a very sad situation for them both because they weren’t in good shape,” Ms. Gould said.

Sophomore class president Mac Magny admitted that he didn’t enjoy homecoming as much as he could have because “people decided that they wanted to be disturbing and expose themselves on the dance floor.”

Due to administration dealing with those who drank, being able to break up inappropriate dancing wasn’t possible.

Those who did drink at homecoming and got caught didn’t get away with it.

“They were either suspended or enrolled in an alternative suspension program,” Mrs. Carlson said. “We had to transport a few (students) to the hospital because they were very, very ill — one life threatening.”

Although Homecoming did have a few select groups of students drinking, the rest of the people at homecoming didn’t make poor choices.

“During homecoming I didn’t grind, drink, smoke or do anything like that,” freshman Davis Major said.

According to Mrs. Carlson, the events at this year’s homecoming were a “very unusual circumstance.”

Because of this year’s wrong events at homecoming, administrators plan to prevent drinking at next year’s homecoming and other school events.

Mrs. Carlson said that “if (making students take a Breathalyzer is) legal,” then administration would “absolutely” start to do it.

Posted: Nov. 4

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